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crime

Memento * Christopher Nolan * 2000

A brilliant movie about a guy who has been in a terrible accident in which he lost both his short-term memory and his girlfriend. Because of the lack of his memory, he makes pictures of important things he encounters on the search for the murderers of his girlfriend. Clues are written on papers and important clues tattood on his body. “Memento” is magnificently told backwards, adding to the disability of the main character. You will see a scene and when it ends, you will get the scene of what happened before what you just saw. It sure takes the whole movie to figure it out and even afterwards you will have to discuss it with people to fully comprehend “Memento”. The great atmosphere, shooting in black and white, the disturbing images of Guy Pearce with his body full of texts and the idea that things are entirely different from what the main character things, make this movie one of the best that I saw in the last year.

Four Rooms * Allison Anders + Alexandre Rockwell + Robert Rodriguez + Quentin Tarantino * 1995

So why hadn’t I seen this film before? For years I have known that Quentin Tarantino was involved in this film, but I guess I never found it in a videoshop and it had to take until MTV broadcasted it before I finally saw it. A shame, because this wonderfull film is truely entertaining.

“Four Rooms” refers to four hotelrooms in which four different stories, written and directed by four different directors, take part. The film brings great grim comedy that we are nowadays familiar with, but in 1995 it may have been even more funny than nine years later. There is a bellhop (Tim Roth) who has to run an entire hotel alone on oldyears evening. In the first room a group of witches (including Madonna) stay, trying to turn their leader back from stone to a human being. Only… there is one “missing ingredient” for their soup.
Next Ted the Bellhop runs into the wrong room and gets involved in some SM kind of roleplay.
The third room is a great part in which Ted has to babysit the two children of a maffia-man. Of course things don’t entirely go the way he wants to.
The last part is written and directed by Tarantino and he also plays the main role. Tarantino really does his thing with totally useless dialogues, a strange kind of humour and of course violence.

Should you have missed this film until now too, do your best to see it afterall.

Ed Gein * Chuck Parello * 2000

“The true story of Ed Gein” as told in all it’s gruesome details resulting in a disturbing horror film. NOT!

This film is actually called “In The Light Of The Moon” and of course tells the story of one of the many American serial killers. Ed Gein (Steve Railsback) lived with his brother, mother and authoritive father on a farm somewhere in a small, remote village. Somewhere along the line the father died and Ed was happy about it. Shortly after that Ed accidentally kills his brother and makes it look like an accident, he was already quite aged by that time. Then for quite a while Ed lived alone with his extremely religious/Christian mother who gives him most of his ideas. When his mother dies and Ed lives totally alone on the big farm he is a bit of an outcast in the village where he lives. Not seeming too intelligent, Ed does read a lot about headhunters, grave robbers and similar subjects which in combination with his extremely ‘fundamentalistic’ Christianity results in a twisted logic. Obviously confusing fantasy and reality Ed starts to dig up corpses from the local graveyard and decorates his house with heads, faces, lamps made from spines, skulls and similar objects. After a while Ed starts to make corpses himself, again under influence of his mother who he has visions off. After killing two local women and feeding one to a befriended family, Gein is caught and taken to jail.

“Ed Gein” is nowhere more gruesome than any other film and only on a few places there is ‘something to be seen’. Neither is this a horror film (fortunately!) in my opinion, because it is not made to make you jump out of your chair with fright. Actually this is a drama also showing the human side of a serial killer, mostly just being a man having lost it. Also I find the film rather chastened, since only in one short scene you can see Gein dressed up as a woman in the skins of his victims. Gein was even more disturbed than this film dared to show!
A pretty boring movie.

Dahmer * David Jacobson * 2002

This film is said to be based on the true life of Jeffrey Dahmer and wants to give an insight into the person instead of just a film about his gruesome deeds. Well, the first thing is true in a way, the there is only a very small piece of Dahmer’s life to be seen. The film starts when Jeffrey already works in the chocolate factory and no longer lives with his grandmother and ends just before he is caught.

You can see how Jeffrey dealt with his father and grandmother and how friendly and honest he was with people he would or would not kill. Some flashbacks to difficult parts of his life, but all this doesn’t give you a very complete idea of his life. Of Dahmer’s 17 victims you get to see two and a few ‘possibles’.

The idea is nice, a psychological thriller about one of the best-known serial killers, but the result isn’t too fascinating. If you want a biography, you better buy the “Dahmer” cd of the American metalband Macabre!

Il Conformista * Bernardo Bertolucci * 1970

An old Italian film about the times that Hitler started to reign over Germany and Mussolini over Italy. The film is about an Italian secret agent who became a fascist at a quite early age. He marries a naive young woman in his aim to become ‘normal’. Their honeymoon is to Paris, but Marcello’s actual assignment is not pleasure, but the assassination of his old philosophy-teacher Quadri who fleed Italy when the fascists took over power. The professor’s wife is Anna Quadri old love who also enchants Giulia, Marcello’s wife. Eventually the killing of both the professor and his wife take place, Giulia finds out at around the end of the film the fascist regime falls and Marcello looses his conviction.
An old film, eh? Not too great.

Blood Simple * Joel + Ethan Coen * 1984

The very first film of the brothers Coen is a nice one. A strange crime-film with weird humour like more of their older films. The wife of a bar-owner sleeps with with an employee and the bar-owner/boss finds that out by hiring a private detective. He can’t cope with that fact and asks the detective to kill the couple, but gets shot himself. A strange story develops which you shouldn’t know on forehand.

A very good debut, as all Coen films are very nice to watch. Also funny to see that Frances McDormand is also present in this film, as she is in most Coen films.